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Pearson back Radford despite poor form

Hull FC owner Adam Pearson has backed Head Coach Lee Radford despite recent poor form.

Pearson has criticised the recent performances of The Airlie Birds, who've lost their last four matches, with their latest defeat against bottom-of-the-table Wakefield, who they'll face again tomorrow. It leaves them in in danger of missing out on a top-eight finish.

But he believes the pressure should be on him and the players.

Rhinos beat St Helens to move clear at top of Super League

Leeds Rhinos put in a convincing performance to beat league holders St Helens at Headingley.

Winger Ash Handley scored his second hat-trick of the season as Leeds completed the double with a ruthless 46-18 victory to go three points clear of them with just three games left before the start of the Super 8s.

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Ice hockey set to return to Hull

Hull Stingrays in 2012 Play Offs Credit: PA

Ice hockey is to return to Hull, with a new team to be called the 'Hull Pirates' set to compete in the England Premier League in Septeber.

Hull Culture and Leisure, who operate Hull arena on behalf of the city council has today signed formal contracts with the new team owner, Shane Smith, at the teams new home Hull Arena.

I am absolutely thrilled; this is great news for Hull and the sport. We moved extremely quickly and have worked hard behind the scenes to secure the future of ice hockey in Hull. We are really looking forward to seeing the team hone local talent, develop their plans and ambitions and work extensively with the community to raise the profile of the sport and encourage young people across the city to get involved. I hope fans will support the new team as it goes from strength to strength and I would like to wish them the very best of luck in their new home at Hull Arena.

– Councillor Terry Geraghty, Chair of Hull Culture and Leisure,

We would like to thank the council for giving us this opportunity. We have worked tirelessly to get this in place over the last week and we are very grateful. We are very excited and looking forward to seeing the new team step out onto the ice in September. There will be lots of announcements over the next week re logo, unveil player and coach announcements. Yes we will have a few challenges along the way with putting the team together so late, but I'm sure the city will support us as we believe given the chance. We will have one of the top teams in the Epl in a few years. This will also be carrying along with it the promise of developing young players from the Juniors.

– Hull Pirates owner Shane Smith

Ince leaves Hull City for Derby

Tom Ince has joined Derby County for an undisclosed fee after the Rams triggered a release clause in the contract.

Credit: Press Association

Ince, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at the iPro Stadium during the second half of last season, has signed a four-year deal after agreeing terms with Paul Clement’s side.

The 23-year-old former England U21 international played in each of the Tigers’ four UEFA Europa League qualifiers after joining from Blackpool last summer and made seven Premier League appearances and scored in our Capital One Cup defeat at West Brom before being allowed to move out on loan.

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England International Zak Hardaker signs four year contract with Leeds Rhinos

Zak Hardaker in action for the Rhinos Credit: Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos have been given a major boost ahead of tonight’s First Utility Super League clash with St Helens with the news that England international Zak Hardaker has agreed a new four year contract with the club that will keep him at Headingley Carnegie until at least the end of the 2019 season.

Hardaker, who made his debut for the Rhinos back in 2011, has pledged his future to the club and the Super League competition. He has now made 124 appearances for the club since joining from Featherstone Rovers and last week scored his 60th try in the crucial Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Quarter Final win at Hull FC.

“I am really pleased to have signed the new deal. I would like to say thank you to Gary Hetherington for the faith he has shown in me and also the club’s supporters, especially our members who every year show their support for the team and certainly were a big part in why I have committed my future to the club.

“Over the last decade, the fans have been used to a team that grew up together with Kevin Sinfield, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow and Jamie Jones-Buchanan but obviously things are going to change over the next few years but there is a group of young players here now who want to follow in their footsteps and make our own history here with the Rhinos. It is a really exciting time to be at the club and I am looking forward to the future and achieving more success over the years ahead.”

– Zak Hardaker

“I am really pleased for Zak himself that he has agreed this new contract and committed his future to the club and our competition. Zak has had some well publicised ups and downs in his career but there is no doubting his ability on the field. His work ethic and commitment on and off the field this season cannot be questioned and I think over the next few years he will mature into a world class player.

“It should not be underestimated how big an achievement it is by the club to keep the likes of Zak, Kallum Watkins, Ryan Hall, Joel Moon and Tom Briscoe at our club on long term contracts. Our members and the fanbase are a huge part of that, the support the players get creates a bond between the players and the club, a bond that is very hard to break and makes staying at this club a great option for all our players."

– Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Brian McDermott

Hull clubs in controversial move to merge academies

Hull FC and Hull KR are to risk the wrath of their fans by casting aside their fierce rivalry to merge their youth development systems.

Credit: Press Association

In a controversial move, the Super League clubs are to combine their academies from 2016 at a new set-up based at Bishop Burton College, the home of Hull City's academy.

The clubs have yet to come up with a name for the under-16 and under-19s teams but have agreed they will play in the neutral colours of yellow and blue while progress to the first teams will be determined by a draft system.

The move has been welcomed by the Rugby Football League.

It is in no way, shape or form a pre-cursor to a full merger between the clubs. We have always been outspoken about the pride, passion, history and rivalry that exists between the two sides and that will never change.

– Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell

We often shout about Hull as a hotbed of rugby league talent, a founding home for the sport, but the harsh reality is that the talent pool is smaller than it once was. The base cost of running successful academies of this nature is growing and the opportunity to spend quality and focused development time with our young athletes faces numerous challenges.

– Hull FC owner Adam Pearson
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